World Food Forum

The Social Fridge: the Argentine answer to the interconnected problems of hunger and food waste

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According to FAO’s latest estimates, there are 47 million people – around 8% of the population – suffering from hunger in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Yet, says the FAO, the region produces more than enough food to feed everybody.
Now, a new Argentine venture allowing people to freely take food deposited in public-access fridges is trying to solve the interconnected problems of hunger and food waste.
The project, called “La Heladera Social” (The Social Fridge), was launched by Federico Ríos, a local restaurateur in the north-western province of Tucumán, which Ríos says is beset by poverty that has intensified as inflation has spiralled in recent months.
The idea behind the initiative is to give excess food to those less fortunate, thereby reducing waste and satisfying one of the most basic of human needs. Those in need can help themselves to the food in the fridges, which are placed outside of the restaurants and stocked with unsold products, not leftovers. The slogan is “only take what you need”.
The Argentina Independent, 14 July 2016 –
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